Steamed Banh Mi with Braised Beef Cheeks

Pickled Vegetables:

2-3 jalapeno peppers, sliced

1 carrot, julienne

1 beet, julienne

2 spring onions, sliced

2 cups rice vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

Braised Beef:

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice

2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 cup coconut water, water or unsalted beef broth

2 lbs. beef cheeks or beef chuck roast, cut into 3-inch pieces

2 tablespoons coconut oil

8 1- 10 steamed buns (recipe:  Steamed Buns)  OR use bibb lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps

optional:  Sriracha  (optional, but mandatory)

To make the pickled vegetables:

Place jalapenos, carrots, beets, and onions in separate jars.  Mix rice vinegar, salt, and sugar together until dissolved.  Poor vinegar mixture equally over prepared veggies.  Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Braised Beef Cheeks:

In a small bowl, mix together garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, Chinese 5 spice, coconut sugar, chili garlic sauce, and sesame oil. Set aside.  Heat, skillet or pan or pressure cooker, brown beef on all sides in the coconut oil.  Do not crowd the pan.  Remove beef and deglaze pan with coconut water, beef broth or water.  Return beef to pot or a crockpot.  Pour soy mixture over meat.  Cover tightly with a lid and cook beef in a 275 degree oven for 4-5 hours or until tender.  Remove beef from juices and using two forks shred the beef.  Strain off any fat that has accumulated and discard the fat. Return juices to pot. Add beef to pot and keep warm until ready to serve.  

Crockpot:  If using a crockpot, cook on high heat for 4 hours.  Follow directions above.

Pressure Cooker:  Pressure on high for 30 minutes.  Follow directions above.  After beef has been shredded and fat has been removed from juices, return to pressure cooker and cook beef in juices on low pressure for another 5 minutes.  Beef can be left on low heat until ready to serve for 2-3 hours.  


  • Frozen pre-made steamed buns may be purchased in an Asian market.  Follow directions on package for reheating.  
  • Note the option for GF or Paleo with the use of Bibb lettuce leaves.  
  • Cucumbers, radishes, or other veggies may be used also.

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